Steroid-use in sore throats 'risky'

Steroids can effectively treat sore throats, but the potential risks of such treatment need to be considered, a review by researchers in Germany has concluded.

Sore throat: safe and effective OTC analgesics are already available
Sore throat: safe and effective OTC analgesics are already available

The research examined eight trials, involving 806 patients with acute pharyngitis.

All the studies found that, for patients treated with steroids, pain was reduced quicker (between four and 28 hours earlier).

The researchers said that the value of pain reduction for patients was undisputed, and that no serious adverse events were reported in the trials studied.

However, whether pain relief four to 28 hours earlier justifies the use of steroids was debatable, they said.

Safe and effective OTC medicines are available to relieve throat pain, they pointed out.

'We therefore recommend further studies to establish the safety of steroid use without antibiotic coverage and the added benefits of steroids when used with regular administration of OTC analgesic medications,' they said.

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